Geneva

Geneva
Geneva
Geneva - Top left: Palace of Nations, Middle left: CERN Laboratory, Right: Jet d'Eau, Bottom: View over Geneva and the lake.
Top left: Palace of Nations, Middle left: CERN Laboratory, Right: Jet d'Eau, Bottom: View over Geneva and the lake.
Country Switzerland Coat of Arms of Geneva
Details
Canton Geneva
District N/A
46°12′N 6°09′E / 46.2°N 6.15°E / 46.2; 6.15Coordinates: 46°12′N 6°09′E / 46.2°N 6.15°E / 46.2; 6.15
Population 191,237 (Mar 2011)[1]
- Density 12,058 /km2 (31,230 /sq mi)
Area  15.86 km2 (6.12 sq mi)
Elevation 375 m (1,230 ft)
Postal code 1200
SFOS number 6621
Mayor (list) Pierre Maudet (as of 2011) FDP/PRD/PLR
Demonym Genevois
Surrounded by Carouge, Chêne-Bougeries, Cologny, Lancy, Grand-Saconnex, Pregny-Chambésy, Vernier, Veyrier
Website ville-geneve.ch
SFSO statistics
Geneva is located in Switzerland
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Geneva
View map of Geneva

Geneva (play /ɨˈnvə/; French: Genève, IPA: [ʒn̩ɛv]; Arpitan: Genèva, IPA: [ˈd͡zənɛva])[note 1] is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhone exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. While the municipality itself (downtown ville de Genève) has a population (as of March 2011) of 191,237, the canton of Geneva (République et Canton de Genève, which includes the city) has 464,677 residents (as of July 2011).[2] The urban area,or agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise had 812,000 inhabitants, two-thirds of whom lived on Swiss soil and one-third on French soil.[3]

Geneva is a global city, a financial centre, and a worldwide centre for diplomacy and the most important UN international co-operation centre with New York thanks to the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations[4] and the Red Cross.[5] It is also the place where the Geneva Conventions were signed, which chiefly concern the treatment of wartime non-combatants and prisoners of war.

Geneva has been described as the third European financial centre after London and Zurich,[6] and the world's eighth most important financial centre by the Global Financial Centres Index, ahead of Frankfurt,[7] and a 2009 survey by Mercer found Geneva to have the third-highest quality of life of any city in the world (narrowly outranked by Zürich).[8] The city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis and the "Peace Capital."[9] In 2009, Geneva was ranked as the fourth most expensive city in the world.[10]

Contents

Etymology

The name Geneva is probably of Celtic origin. The city was mentioned in Latin texts with the spelling Genava. The name takes various forms in modern languages. Thus, it is Geneva play /ɨˈnvə/ in English and, French: Genève [ʒnɛv], German: Genf [ˈɡɛnf] ( listen), Italian: Ginevra [dʒiˈneːvra], and Romansh: Genevra. Another theory is that Geneva is derived from "Genévrier" which is the French word for "juniper".

There is occasionally confusion between this city and the Italian port of Genoa (in Italian Genova) as they seem to share a Celtic root, genu / genawa, meaning "estuary".

History

Antiquity

Geneva first appears in history as a border town, fortified against the Celtic tribe Helvetii, which the Romans took in 121 B.C. In 52 B.C., Julius Ceasar, Roman Governor of Gaul, destroyed the bridge on the Rhone river at the place that would become Geneva in order to block the passage of the Helvetii. In 58 B.C., Ceasar helped establish Geneva as a Roman city (vicus and then civitas) by setting up camp there and significantly increasing its size. It became an episcopal seat in the 4th century.[11] In 443, it was taken by Burgundy, and with the latter fell to the Franks in 534. In 888 the town was part of the new Kingdom of Burgundy, and with it was taken over in 1033 by the German Emperor. According to legendary accounts found in the works of Gregorio Leti ("Historia Genevrena", Amsterdam, 1686) and Besson ("Memoires pour l'histoire ecclésiastique des diocèses de Genève, Tarantaise, Aoste et Maurienne", Nancy, 1739; new ed. Moutiers, 1871), Geneva was Christianised by Dionysius Areopagita and Paracodus, two of the 72 disciples, in the time of Domitian; Dionysius went thence to Paris and Paracodus became the first Bishop of Geneva but the legend is fictitious, as is that which makes St. Lazarus the first Bishop of Geneva, an error arising out of the similarity between the Latin names Genara (Geneva) and Genua (Genoa, in northern Italy). The so-called "Catalogue de St. Pierre", which names St. Diogenus (Diogenes) as the first Bishop of Geneva, is unreliable.

A letter of St. Eucherius to Salvius makes it almost certain that St. Isaac (c. 400) was the first bishop. In 440, Salonius appears as Bishop of Geneva; he was a son of Eucherius, to whom the latter dedicated his Instructiones'; he took part in the Councils of Orange (441), Vaison (442) and Arles (about 455), and is supposed to be the author of two small commentaries, In parabolas Salomonis and on Ecclesisastis.[12] Little is known about the following Bishops Theoplastus (about 475), to whom Sidonius Apollinaris addressed a letter; Dormitianus (before 500), under whom the Burgundian Princess Sedeleuba, a sister of Queen Clotilde, had the remains of the martyr and St. Victor of Soleure transferred to Geneva, where she built a basilica in his honour; St. Maximus (about 512-41), a friend of Avitus, Archbishop of Vienne and Cyprian of Toulon, with whom he was in correspondence.[13] Bishop Pappulus sent the priest Thoribiusas his substitute to the Synod of Orléans (541). Bishop Salonius II is only known from the signatures of the Synods of Lyon (570) and Paris (573) and Bishop Cariatto, installed by King Guntram in 584, was present at the two Synods of Valence and Macon in 585.

Middle Ages

L'Escalade, the defeat of the surprise attack by troops sent by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy
The flag of Geneva since the 15th century is divided per pale showing both the imperial eagle and a key of St. Peter, reflecting its dual status as free city and Prince-Bishopric.

From the beginning, the bishopric of Geneva was a suffragan of the Archbishopric of Vienne. The bishops of Geneva had the status of prince of the Holy Roman Empire since 1154, but had to maintain a long struggle for their independence against the guardians (advocati) of the see, the counts of Geneva and later the counts of the House of Savoy.

In 1290, the latter obtained the right of installing the vice-dominus of the diocese, the title of Vidame of Geneva was granted to the counts of the House of Candia under count François de Candie of Chambéry-Le-Vieux a Chatellaine of the Savoy, this official exercised minor jurisdiction in the town in the bishop's.

In 1387, Bishop Adhémar Fabry granted the town its great charter, the basis of its communal self-government,[14] which every bishop on his accession was expected to confirm. The line of the counts of Geneva ended in 1394, and the House of Savoy came into possession of their territory, assuming after 1416 the title of Duke. The new dynasty sought to bring the city of Geneva under their power, particularly by elevating members of their own family to the episcopal see. In 1447 Anti Pope Felix V, who was also Duke of Savoy, appointed himself as bishop of Geneve, and until 1490 the episcopal see was ruled by Savoy dynasty, until popular pressure compelled the Savoy dynasty to renounce the title of bishop. In 1457, a major government organ was established in Geneva, known as the Grand Council, which first consisted of 50 deputies and later their number was raised to 200. The members of the Grand Council were elected every year in early February. The Grand Council represented the citizens of Geneva and decided on political matters and also elected the bishops of Geneva after that position was renounced by the Savoy dynasty in 1490. This same council gradually became estranged to the Duke of Savoy. A new cause of friction between the Grand Council and the Duke of Savoy evolved in 1513, when Charles III decided to appoint his cousin John of Savoy as bishop and even secured Papal endorsement. Despite being bishop of Geneva, the new Savoy bishop resided most of the time in Pignerol in Northern Italy, another factor enhancing the alienation between the people in Geneva and the Savoy dynasty.

In 1519, the Grand Council of Geneva attempted to forge an alliance with Fribourg, but the Duke of Savoy responded with invasion of the republic, which led to the execution of Philibert Berthelier and suspension of the Grand Council's powers. However, after that date the Savoy power over Geneva gradually declined. In 1521 Jean of Savoy died, and the Grand Council appealed to Pope Leo X to appoint the next bishop, who then appointed Pierre de la Baume. In addition, the Duke of Savoy also tried to reconcile his political ambitions with local Genevan patriotism, and in 1523 marched into Geneva in a ceremony designated to appease its population, and tried to gain the support of the Geneva merchants by promising them a share in the trade with the Kingdom of Portugal (his wife's country of origin) and its territories in Brazil. However, the independence faction in Geneva did not accept these gestures. Another political crisis occurred in 1524, when the treasurer of Geneva Bernard Boulet, a supporter of Savoy rule, was accused by the Grand Council of embezzlement. He reacted to the accusations by appealing to Charles III to curtail the powers of the council once more, to which the Duke responded by confiscating assets held by council members in other territories under Savoy rule.

In January 1525, the council appealed to the Pope to excommunicate Charles III. The deputies' attempt to enlist the support of the bishop Pierre de la Baume for their cause failed, and the Pope rejected their request. However, Charles III feared another rebellion and in September 1525 made another proposal of power sharing to the Grand Council of Geneva, which the council endorsed by 53-42. However, Charles III was not satisfied with this and started a new invasion of Geneva in order to destroy the pro-independence faction. The pro-independence faction fled to Fribourg, and in December 1525 the Grand Council acknowledged Charles III as the true sovereign of Geneva (a session known as the "Assembly of Halberds"). However, members of the pro-independence faction began their own clandestine campaign to enlist support for their cause, and in February 1526 gained the support of bishop Pierre de la Baume. Elections to the Grand Council were held the same month and led to a pro-independence majority, that voted to break away from Savoy rule. Eventually, the Grand Council succeeded in protecting the liberty of its citizens by establishing union with the Swiss Federation (Eidgenossenschaft), by concluding on February 20, 1526 a treaty of alliance with Bern and Fribourg. On March 12, representatives of the other Swiss cantons appeared before the Grand Council in Geneva and swore to protect that republic as part of their confederation.

Reformation

Map of Geneva and surroundings in 1841. The colossal fortifications were demolished ten years later.
Swiss Army in Geneva on June 1, 1814 (painting from 1880 by Frédéric Dufaux)

Geneva, home of Calvinism, was one of the great centres of the Protestant Reformation. While Bern favoured the introduction of the new teaching and demanded liberty of preaching for the Reformers Guillaume Farel and Antoine Froment, Catholic Fribourg renounced in 1533 its allegiance with Geneva.

Background to the Protestant Reformation

In 1523, the first Protestants, who happened to be refugees from France, arrived at Geneva. The new theology soon became very popular in Geneva, as the population was seeking to break away from the Papacy. The power of the Catholic Church in Geneva was further weakened following an abortive rebellion in 1526 by the priests in protest of the alliance with Bern and Fribourg. In July 1527, all Catholic priests of noble descent were expelled from Geneva due to their pro-Savoy sentiments. The bishop fled from Geneva to Gex in August 1527, in order to save himself from capture or assassination by Charles III's agents, but still remained officially the bishop of Geneva. The bishop supported for a while the independence of Geneva, but later colluded with Charles III to use his influence to bring about the annulment of the 1526 treaty of alliance. As a result, the Grand Council decided in January 1528 to adhere to the Lutheran faith, and the Pope responded by excommunicating the people of Geneva. Even though Geneva was still under the nominal jurisdiction of a Catholic bishop, the Grand Council took advantage of his absence and initiated a gradual reform in worship along Lutheran lines.

Following the 1526 alliance treaty, Charles III of Savoy was not willing to concede defeat in Geneva, and constantly plotted to take over that city again. The fear of Swiss intervention kept him at bay, but he encouraged sporadic acts of violence against Geneva such as acts of robbery and destruction of goods intended for Geneva. The bishop of Geneva, no longer residing within that city, participated in plans to overthrow its independence. Some of the knights who were interested in capturing Geneva for Charles III organized in an unofficial organization termed Order of the Spoon. The knights of that group attempted an abortive invasion of Geneva by climbing on the city wall with ladders on March 25, 1529, an event to be known as "day of the ladders". In addition, the Duke of Savoy sought to convince the other Swiss republics to abrogate their alliance with Geneva, and to that end managed to enlist the support of Francis I of France and of Emperor Charles V. The Emperor Charles V tried to convince the Grand Council of Geneva to return to the Catholic Church, and on July 16, 1529 even wrote a letter to that effect in his own handwriting, but the council of Geneva rejected the plea and Charles V became determined to act with force. The Swiss Federation was alarmed by these developments, and in May 1530 a joint delegation from Berne, Fribourg, Zurich, Basel and Soleure suggested to the Grand Council the abrogation of the 1526 alliance treaty in exchange for looser cooperation. The Grand Council rejected the offer and decided to oppose any attempt to restore Geneva to Savoy rule.

On June 24, 1530, the Grand Council arrested a public prosecutor named Mandolia, who was a supporter of duke Charles III, and this irritated bishop Baume, who retaliated by arresting Genevan merchants in Gex, where he now resided. He also made a pact with the Knights of the Spoon, and on August 20, issued an episcopal decree ordering them to wage war in order to restore Geneva to its rightful rulers. On September 30, the attack began, as the Knights of the Spoon were joined by the forces of Charles III, reaching up to 800 soldiers total. The Genevan army was only about 600 men strong, but on October 10 reinforcements of about 15,000 men strong arrived from Bern and Fribourg. In addition, Emperor Charles V, even though a supporter of Savoy interests, refused to participate in that war, and the invading army was forced to withdraw. Following the Savoyard withdrawal, a peace treaty was concluded between Geneva and bishop Baume, by which the Grand Council in Geneva released Mandolia from prison and the bishop released the Genevans arrested at Gex.

During the Second War of Kappel in October 1531, Geneva was politically divided, as the government of Bern requested military aid for the Protestants of Zurich, while Fribourg requested that for the Catholic party. The Grand Council of Geneva was torn between the two parties, but decided to split its forces and assist both simultaneously. Following the defeat of Zurich in the war, Fribourg renounced its alliance with Geneva. As a result, Charles III of Savoy renewed his plans of capturing Geneva. This alarmed the governments of Bern and Fribourg to the point of suggesting to Geneva to renounce the alliance treaty of 1526 and accept Savoy rule, which the council of Geneva rejected.

In June 1532, street skirmishes between Catholics and Protestants broke out, and the government of Fribourg threatened to tear up its alliance with Geneva if Protestant practices were permitted. The government of Berne, however, pressured the Grand Council of Geneva to allow Protestant preaching. The authority of the Catholic bishop was no longer recognized by the people and institutions of Geneva, but at first they refused to commit their city to the Protestant cause, for fear of antagonizing the Catholic rulers of adjacent kingdoms as well as the Catholic priests within Geneva.

Compromise between Catholics and Protestants

The Catholic priests and monks in Geneva remained a significant social force to reckon with, and used their influence in order to bring about the expulsion of the Protestant preachers, and on March 28, 1533 even tried to incite the Catholic masses to massacre the Protestants - a scheme that failed due to emotions of city solidarity and Grand Council efforts to restore the peace. The Grand Council was cautious in its policies, and attempted a middle course between the two factions. As part of that middle course, it yielded to protestant demands by approving in March 1533 the publication of the Bible in French, but only a conservative translation that did not appeal to Protestant sentiments and was acceptable to the Catholics in the republic. The Grand Council also had to take into consideration the need to remain in alliance with both Catholic and Protestant cantons. In February 1533, Fribourg openly revoked the alliance treaty of 1526, and later even made plans to invade Geneva.

In order to keep the peace between Catholics and Protestants as well as a policy of neutrality between the Catholic and Protestant powers, the Grand Council of Geneva on March 30, 1533 passed a statute of compromise which permitted every Genevan to choose his religious affiliation, while prohibiting open attacks on Catholic doctrines and practices and prohibited any religious preaching in open places for both parties. Eating meat on Fridays was prohibited for both parties.[15] However, both parties had no intention of abiding by the statute, and street riots broke out from time to time.

Triumph of the Protestant Church

Even after the ousting of bishop la Baume from Geneva, the triumph of Protestantism was not assured, as the Catholic faction within that city conspired with Fribourg to act for the return of the Catholic bishop to Geneva. La Baume himself was reluctant at first, but Pope Clement VII pressured him to accept. On July 3, 1533 - with military aid from Fribourg - the bishop once again entered Geneva in a procession. The Grand Council demanded from the bishop to honor the traditional freedoms of the republic, which he promised to uphold. However, soon the bishop started arresting conspicuous Protestants in Geneva, and there were rumors that he intended to remove the prisoners to Fribourg and placed beyond the Grand Council's reach. On July 12 riots broke out, and the bishop yielded to popular clamor and delivered the prisoners to the Council's custody. Fearing for his life, the bishop decided to flee the city, which he did on July 14, this time never to return, while moving his headquarters to Arbois and later to Chambery. However, de la Baume officially remained the bishop of Geneva and Catholic priests and monks still remained a strong faction within the city. The bishop still tried to exercise his jurisdiction over Geneva and on October 24, 1533 wrote a letter to the council, demanding it to stop Protestant preaching in Geneva, which the council refused to do.

Following the bishop's flight, the influence of Protestant preachers in Geneva increased, and this was achieved to the chagrin of the local Catholic priests due to pressure from Bern, which threatened to revoke the 1526 alliance treaty unless freedom was granted to Protestants. In addition, the exiled bishop was gradually losing popularity also with the Catholic sections of Genevan society due to numerous attempts to meddle by proxy with the republic's judicial affairs, which the Genevans viewed as attacks on the liberties of their city. As a result of that, the Grand Council agreed on January 1534 to allow the trials of clergyman by secular authorities. The Catholic influence within Geneva was further diminished following the flight on July 30, 1534 of part of its Catholic population due to the rising tensions between Catholics and Protestants, and at the February 1535 election to the Grand Council, a Protestant majority was secured. Bishop de la Baume, seeing that Geneva was becoming Protestant, issued a decree on June 13, 1535 prohibiting trade with Geneva on pain of excommunication. The Grand Council, even though consisted of a Protestant majority, still refrained from proclaiming the city as Protestant, for fear of reprisals from Catholic neighboring kingdoms. In order to compel the council to make that move, Protestant leaders such as Guillaume Farel began agitating the crowds to demolish icons and throw the wafers of the eucharist to the ground in Catholic churches. As a measure of compromise between the two groups, the Grand Council resolved on August 10, 1535, to prohibit the breaking of icons on one hand and to prohibit the celebration of Mass on the other. This move increased further the flight of Catholics from the city into Savoy territories. Following another unsuccessful invasion of Geneva by Savoy forces in October 1535, which ended in a Savoy defeat at Gingins, the Grand Council decided on February 3, 1536 on the destruction of all castles around Geneva in order not to allow any princes another pretext for invading their city.

On May 21, 1536, the Genevans declared themselves Protestant by taking a public oath of allegiance to the Lutheran faith where all residents took part, and proclaimed their city a republic.[11] This move was in the making for a long time, but was delayed for fears of Savoy invasion. However, the French invasion of Savoy territories earlier that year has removed that obstacle.

The Protestant leader John Calvin was based in Geneva from 1536 to his death in 1564 (save for an exile from 1538 to 1541) and became the spiritual leader of the city, a position created by the Grand Council as the city turned Protestant. Geneva became a center of Protestant activity, producing works such as the Genevan Psalter, though there were often tensions between Calvin and the city's civil authorities. Calvin also supported the admission into Geneva of Protestant refugees, which some circles strongly opposed.

Though the city proper remained a Protestant stronghold, a large part of the historic diocese returned to Catholicism in the early seventeenth century under St. Francis de Sales. Geneva has played a historical role in the worldwide spread of the Protestant revolution.

In addition to becoming a Protestant state, Geneva in the 16th century also became a kind of welfare state, as a general state hospital was established in 1535 by the wealthy Protestant Claude Salomon. A centralized education system was established with the cooperation of John Calvin.

18th century

During the French Revolution (1789–1799), aristocratic and democratic factions contended for control of Geneva.[11] In 1798, however, France, then under the Directory, annexed Geneva and its surrounding territory.[11]

19th century

In 1802, the diocese was united with that of Chambéry. At the Congress of Vienna of 1814–15, the territory of Geneva was extended to cover 15 Savoyard and six French parishes, with more than 16,000 Catholics; at the same time it was admitted to the Swiss Confederation. The Congress expressly provided—and the same proviso was included in the Treaty of Turin (16 March 1816)—that in these territories transferred to Geneva the Catholic religion was to be protected, and that no changes were to be made in existing conditions without the approval of the Holy See. The city's neutrality was guaranteed by the Congress.[11] Pius VII in 1819 united the city of Geneva and 20 parishes with the Diocese of Lausanne, while the rest of the ancient Diocese of Geneva (outside of Switzerland) was reconstituted, in 1822, as the French Diocese of Annecy.

View of Geneva in 1860

The Great Council of Geneva (cantonal council) afterwards ignored the responsibilities thus undertaken; in imitation of Napoleon's "Organic Articles", it insisted upon the Placet, or previous approval of publication, for all papal documents. Catholic indignation ran high at the civil measures taken against Marilley, the parish priest of Geneva and later bishop of the see, and at the Kulturkampf, which obliged them to contribute to the budget of the Protestant Church and to that of the Old Catholic Church, without providing any public aid for Catholicism.

20th century

On 30 June 1907, aided by strong Catholic support, Geneva adopted a separation of Church and State. The Protestant faith received a one-time compensatory sum of 800,000 Swiss francs (then about US$160,000), while other faiths received nothing. Since then the Canton of Geneva has given aid to no creed from either state or municipal revenues.

League of Nations conference in 1926

The international status of the city was highlighted after World War I when Geneva became the seat of the League of Nations in 1919—notably through the work of the Federal Council member Gustav Ador and of Swiss diplomat William Rappard, who was one of the founders of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Europe's oldest graduate school of international and development studies. Furthermore, the International School of Geneva, the oldest currently operating International School in the world, was founded in 1924 by senior members of the League of Nations and the International Labor Office.

In the wake of the war, a class struggle in Switzerland grew and culminated in a general strike throughout the country—beginning on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, and directed from the German-speaking part of the nation. However the prevailing friendliness toward France in Geneva moderated its effect upon that city.[16]

On 9 November 1932, several small Fascist-inspired political parties, such as the National Union, attacked Socialist leaders, which action led to a later demonstration of the Left against the Fascists. On that occasion, young recruits in the Swiss Army fired without warning into a crowd, leaving thirteen dead and 63 wounded.[17] As a result, a new general strike was called several days later in protest.

After World War II, the European headquarters of the United Nations and the seats of dozens of international organizations were installed in Geneva, resulting in the development of tourism and of business.

In the 1960s, Geneva became one of the first parts of Switzerland in which the rights movements achieved a certain measure of success.[18] It was the third canton to grant women's suffrage on the cantonal and communal levels.

Government

Logo of the city of Geneva

The City Council (Conseil administratif) constitutes the executive government of the City of Geneva and operates as a collegiate authority. It is composed of five councilors, each presiding over a department. The president of the executive department acts as mayor. Current city president is Sandrine Salerno. Departmental tasks, coordination measures and implementation of laws decreed by the City Parliament are carried by the City Council. The election of the City Council by registered voters is held every four years. The executive body holds its meetings in the Palais Eynard, near the Parc des Bastions. The building was built between 1817 and 1821 in Neoclassical style.

On the other hand, the City Parliament (Conseil municipal) holds the legislative power. It is made up of 80 members, with elections also held every four years. The City Parliament decrees regulations and by-laws that are executed by the City Council and the administration. The sessions of the City Parliament are public. Unlike the member of the City Council, the members of the City Parliament are not politicians by profession, but they are paid a fee based on their attendance. Any resident of Geneva allowed to vote can be elected as a member of the City Parliament. The legislative body holds its meetings in the Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville), in the old city of Geneva.[19]

As of 2010, the Geneva City Council is made up of two representatives of the SDP (Social Democratic Party, one of whom is the mayor), one member of the FDP (Free Democratic Party), one member of the Green Party and one member of the À gauche Toute party.[20]

Elections

In the 2007 federal election the most popular party was the SP which received 21.4% of the vote. The next three most popular parties were the SVP (19.92%), the Green Party (17.96%) and the LPS Party (13.43%). In the federal election, a total of 39,413 votes were cast, and the voter turnout was 46.8%.[21]

In the 2009 Grand Conseil election, there were a total of 83,167 registered voters of which 32,825 (39.5%) voted. The most popular party in the municipality for this election was the Les Verts with 15.8% of the ballots. In the canton-wide election they received the second highest proportion of votes. The second most popular party was the Libéral (with 14.1%), they were first in the canton-wide election, while the third most popular party was the Les Socialistes (with 13.8%), they were fourth in the canton-wide election.[22]

For the 2009 Conseil d'État election, there were a total of 83,103 registered voters of which 38,325 (46.1%) voted.[22]

In 2011, all the municipalities held local elections, and in Geneva there were 80 spots open on the municipal council. There were a total of 117,051 registered voters of which 41,766 (35.7%) voted. Out of the 41,766 votes, there were 224 blank votes, 440 null or unreadable votes and 1,774 votes with a name that was not on the list.[22]

Geography and climate

Geneva seen from SPOT Satellite

Geneva is located at 46°12' North, 6°09' East, at the south-western end of Lake Geneva, where the lake flows back into the Rhône River. It is surrounded by two mountain chains, the Alps and the Jura.

The Geneva area seen from the Salève in France. The Jura mountains can be seen on the horizon.

The city of Geneva has an area of 15.93 km2 (6.2 sq mi), while the area of the Canton of Geneva is 282 km2 (108.9 sq mi), including the two small enclaves of Céligny in Vaud. The part of the lake that is attached to Geneva has an area of 38 km2 (14.7 sq mi) and is sometimes referred to as Petit lac (Small Lake). The Canton has only a 4.5 km (2.8 mi) long border with the rest of Switzerland. Out of a total of 107.5 km (66.8 mi) of borders, the remaining 103 are shared with France, with the Départment de l'Ain to the north and the Département de la Haute-Savoie to the south.

Of the land in the city proper, 0.24 km2 (0.093 sq mi) or 1.5% is used for agricultural purposes, while 0.5 km2 (0.19 sq mi) or 3.1% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 14.63 km2 (5.65 sq mi) or 91.8% is settled (buildings or roads), 0.49 km2 (0.19 sq mi) or 3.1% is either rivers or lakes and 0.02 km2 (4.9 acres) or 0.1% is unproductive land.[23]

Of the built up area, industrial buildings made up 3.4% of the total area while housing and buildings made up 46.2% and transportation infrastructure made up 25.8%. while parks, green belts and sports fields made up 15.7%. Out of the forested land, all of the forested land area is covered with heavy forests. Of the agricultural land, 0.3% is used for growing crops. Of the water in the municipality, 0.2% is in lakes and 2.9% is in rivers and streams.[23]

The altitude of Geneva is 373.6 metres (1,225.7 ft), and corresponds to the altitude of the largest of the Pierres du Niton, two large rocks emerging from the lake which date from the last ice age. This rock was chosen by General Guillaume Henri Dufour as the reference point for all surveying in Switzerland.[24] The second main river of Geneva is the Arve River which flows into the Rhône River just west of the city centre. Mont Blanc can be seen from Geneva and is only an hour's drive from the city centre.

Climate

The climate of Geneva is temperate. Winters are mild, usually with light frosts at night and thawing conditions during the day. Summers are pleasantly warm. Precipitation is adequate and is relatively well-distributed throughout the year, although autumn is slightly wetter than the other seasons. Ice storms near Lac Léman are quite normal in the winter. In the summer many people enjoy swimming in the lake, and frequently patronise public beaches such as Genève Plage and the Bains des Pâquis. Geneva often receives snow in the colder months of the year. The nearby mountains are subject to substantial snowfall and are usually suitable for skiing. Many world-renowned ski resorts such as Verbier and Crans-Montana are just over an hour away by car. Mont Salève (1400 m), just across the border in France, dominates the southerly view from the city centre and is the closest French skiing destination to Geneva. During the years 2000–2009, the mean yearly temperature was 11°C and the mean yearly sunshine lasted 2003 hours.

Climate data for Geneva
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3.7
(38.7)
5.9
(42.6)
9.8
(49.6)
13.9
(57.0)
18.4
(65.1)
22.5
(72.5)
25.7
(78.3)
24.7
(76.5)
20.8
(69.4)
14.0
(57.2)
8.4
(47.1)
4.5
(40.1)
14.4
Average low °C (°F) −1.9
(28.6)
−0.9
(30.4)
0.8
(33.4)
4.1
(39.4)
8.0
(46.4)
11.3
(52.3)
13.3
(55.9)
13.0
(55.4)
10.3
(50.5)
6.6
(43.9)
2.1
(35.8)
−0.5
(31.1)
5.5
Precipitation mm (inches) 80
(3.15)
81
(3.19)
79
(3.11)
65
(2.56)
77
(3.03)
89
(3.5)
67
(2.64)
79
(3.11)
81
(3.19)
77
(3.03)
92
(3.62)
87
(3.43)
954
(37.56)
Avg. rainy days 10.5 9.3 10.3 9.3 11.2 9.8 7.8 8.9 7.6 8.4 9.8 10.1 113
Sunshine hours 50 76 131 161 181 212 255 225 185 114 61 42 1,694
Source: http://www.meteosuisse.admin.ch/web/fr/climat/climat_en_suisse/tableaux_des_normes.html

Cityscape

View of Geneva to the south. Mont Salève (in France) dominates the foreground, with the white summit of Mont Blanc just visible behind it and 70 km away to the southeast. To the left of Mont Blanc is the point of Le Môle.

Heritage sites of national significance

There are 82 buildings or sites in Geneva that are listed as Swiss heritage site of national significance, and the entire old city of Geneva is part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites.[25]

Religious Buildings: Cathedral St-Pierre et Chapel des Macchabés, Notre-Dame Church, Russe Church, St-Germain Church, Temple de la Fusterie, Temple de l'Auditoire

Civic Buildings: Former Arsenal and Archives of the City of Genève, Former Crédit Lyonnais, Former Hôtel Buisson, Former Hôtel du Résident de France et Bibliothèque de la Société de lecture de Genève, Former école des arts industriels, Archives d'État de Genève (Annexe), Bâtiment des forces motrices, Library de Genève, Library juive de Genève «Gérard Nordmann», Cabinet des estampes, Centre d'Iconographie genevoise, Collège Calvin, Ecole Geisendorf, Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève (HUG), Hôtel de Ville et tour Baudet, Immeuble Clarté at Rue Saint-Laurent 2 and 4, Immeubles House Rotonde at Rue Charles-Giron 11–19, Immeubles at Rue Beauregard 2, 4, 6, 8, Immeubles at Rue de la Corraterie 10–26, Immeubles at Rue des Granges 2–6, Immeuble at Rue des Granges 8, Immeubles at Rue des Granges 10 and 12, Immeuble at Rue des Granges 14, Immeuble and Former Armory at Rue des Granges 16, Immeubles at Rue Pierre Fatio 7 and 9, House de Saussure at Rue de la Cité 24, House Des arts du Grütli at Rue du Général-Dufour 16, House Royale et les deux immeubles à côté at Quai Gustave Ador 44–50, Tavel House at Rue du Puits-St-Pierre 6, Turrettini House at Rue de l'Hôtel-de-Ville 8 and 10, Brunswick Monument, Palais de Justice, Palais de l'Athénée, Palais des Nations with library and archives of the SDN and ONU, Palais Eynard et Archives de la ville de Genève, Palais Wilson, Parc des Bastions avec Mur des Réformateurs, Place Neuve et Monument du Général Dufour, Pont de la Machine, Pont sur l'Arve, Poste du Mont-Blanc, Quai du Mont-Blanc, Quai et Hôtel des Bergues, Quai Général Guisan and English Gardens, Quai Gustave-Ador and Jet d'eau, Télévision Suisse Romande, university of Geneva, Victoria Hall

Archeological Sites: Fondation Baur and Museum of the arts d'Extrême-Orient, Parc et campagne de la Grange and Library (neolithic shore settlement/roman villa), Bronze Age shore settlement of Plonjon, Temple de la Madeleine archeological site, Temple Saint-Gervais archeological site, Old City with celtic, roman and medieval villages

Museums, Theaters and other Cultural Sites: Conservatoire de musique at Place Neuve 5, Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, Fonds cantonal d'art contemporain, Ile Rousseau and statue, Institute and Museum of Voltaire with Library and Archives, Mallet House and Museum international de la Réforme, Musée Ariana, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Museum d'art moderne et contemporain, Museum d'ethnographie, Museum of the International Red Cross, Musée Rath, Muséum d'histoire naturelle, Salle communale de Plainpalais et théâtre Pitoëff, Villa Bartholoni et Museum d'Histoire et Sciences

International Organizations: International Labour Organization (BIT), International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Meteorological Organization, World Trade Organization, International Telecommunication Union, World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Association

Society and culture

Media

The city's main newspaper is the Tribune de Genève, with a readership of about 187,000, a daily newspaper founded on 1 February 1879 by James T. Bates. Le Courrier, founded in 1868, was originally supported by the Roman Catholic Church, but has been completely independent since 1996. Mainly focussed on Geneva, Le Courrier is trying to expand into other cantons in Romandy. Both Le Temps (headquartered in Geneva) and Le Matin are widely read in Geneva, but both journals actually cover the whole of Romandy.

Geneva is covered by the various French language radio networks of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, in particular the Radio Suisse Romande. While these networks cover the whole of Romandy, special programs related to Geneva are sometimes broadcast on some of the local frequencies in the case of special events such as elections. Other local stations broadcast from the city, including YesFM (FM 91.8 MHz), Radio Cité (Non-commercial radio, FM 92.2 MHz), OneFM (FM 107.0 MHz, also broadcast in Vaud), and World Radio Switzerland (FM 88.4 MHz).

The main television channel covering Geneva is the Télévision Suisse Romande. While its headquarters is located in Geneva, the programs cover the whole of Romandy and are not specific to Geneva. Léman Bleu is a local TV channel, founded in 1996 and distributed by cable. Due to the proximity to France, French television channels are also available.

Traditions and customs

Geneva observes Jeûne genevois on the first Thursday following the first Sunday in September. By local tradition, this commemorates the date the news of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots reached Geneva. The Genevois joke that the federal equivalent holiday, Jeûne fédéral, is observed two weeks later on account of the rest of the country being a bit slow on the uptake.

Since 1818, a particular chestnut tree has been used as the official "herald of the spring" in Geneva. The sautier (secretary of the Parliament of the Canton of Geneva) observes the tree and notes the day of arrival of the first bud. While this event has no practical effect, the sautier issues a formal press release and the local newspaper will usually mention the news.

As this is one of the world's oldest records of a plant's reaction to climatic conditions, researchers have been interested to note that the first bud appears earlier and earlier in the year. During the first century, many dates were in March or April. In recent years, it has usually been in mid-February and sometimes even earlier.[26] In 2002, the first bud appeared unusually early, on 7 February, and then again on 29 December of the same year. The following year, which was one of the hottest years recorded in Europe, became a year with no bud. In 2008, the first bud also appeared very early, on 19 February.

Music

The opera house the Grand Théâtre de Genève which officially opened in 1876, was partly destroyed by fire in 1951 and reopened in 1962, is the largest stage in Switzerland. It features opera and dance performances, recitals, concerts and, occasionally, theatre. The Victoria Hall is used for classical music concerts. It is also the home of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

Museums

Museums and art galleries are everywhere in the city. Some are related to the many international organizations as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum or the Microcosm in the CERN area. The Palace of Nations, home of the United Nations headquarters can also be visited.

Sports

Among the most popular sports in Switzerland is Ice hockey.[27] Geneva is the home of the Genève-Servette HC, who play in the Swiss National League A, and is the main sport team of the city. In 2008 and 2010 the team made it to the league finals but lost to the ZSC Lions and SC Bern respectively.

There is also a football team in Geneva. The Servette FC, a football club founded in 1890 and named after a borough on the right bank of the Rhône. Servette was the only club to have remained in the top league in Switzerland since its creation in the 1930s. In 2005, however, management problems resulted in the bankruptcy of the club's parent company, causing the club to be demoted two divisions. After one year in 3rd division and five in 2nd division, Servette came back to 1st division after a spectacular season.

Administrative divisions

The city is divided into eight quartiers, or districts, sometimes composed of several neighborhoods. On the Left Bank are (1) Jonction, (2) Centre. Plainpalais, and Acacias, (3) Eaux-Vives, and (4) Champel, while the Right Bank includes (1) Saint-Jean and Charmilles, (2) Servette and Petit-Saconnex, (3) Grottes and Saint-Gervais, and (4) Paquis and Nations.[28]

Demographics

Geneva has a population (as of March 2011) of 191,237.[1] The city of Geneva is at the centre of the Geneva metropolitan area, known as the agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise in French. The agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise includes the Canton of Geneva in its entirety as well as the District of Nyon in the Canton of Vaud and several areas in the neighboring French departments of Haute-Savoie and Ain. In 2007 the agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise had 812,000 inhabitants, two-thirds of whom lived on Swiss soil and one-third on French soil.[3] The Geneva metropolitan area is experiencing steady demographic growth of 1.2% a year and the agglomération franco-valdo-genevoise is expected to reach one million people in 2030.[3]

The official language of Geneva is French, the official language of the canton as well as the main Swiss language used in the Romandie. As a result of immigration flows in the 1960s and 1980s, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish are also spoken by a considerable proportion of the population. English is also quite common due to the high number of anglophone expatriates and foreigners working in international institutions and in the bank sector. However, lack of proficiency in French of English-speaking expatriates (even after years spent in Geneva) is an increasing concern.

Most of the population (as of 2000) speak French (128,622 or 72.3%), with English being second most common (7,853 or 4.4%) and Spanish being third (7,462 or 4.2%). There are 7,320 people who speak Italian, 7,050 people who speak German and 113 people who speak Romansh.[29]

In the city of Geneva, as of 2008, 44.3% of the population are resident foreign nationals.[30] Over the last 10 years (1999–2009 ) the population has changed at a rate of 7.2%. It has changed at a rate of 3.4% due to migration and at a rate of 3.4% due to births and deaths.[31]

As of 2008, the gender distribution of the population was 47.8% male and 52.2% female. The population was made up of 46,284 Swiss men (24.2% of the population) and 45,127 (23.6%) non-Swiss men. There were 56,091 Swiss women (29.3%) and 43,735 (22.9%) non-Swiss women.[32] Of the population in the municipality 43,296 or about 24.3% were born in Geneva and lived there in 2000. There were 11,757 or 6.6% who were born in the same canton, while 27,359 or 15.4% were born somewhere else in Switzerland, and 77,893 or 43.8% were born outside of Switzerland.[29]

In 2008 there were 1,147 live births to Swiss citizens and 893 births to non-Swiss citizens, and in same time span there were 1,114 deaths of Swiss citizens and 274 non-Swiss citizen deaths. Ignoring immigration and emigration, the population of Swiss citizens increased by 33 while the foreign population increased by 619. There were 465 Swiss men and 498 Swiss women who emigrated from Switzerland. At the same time, there were 2933 non-Swiss men and 2662 non-Swiss women who immigrated from another country to Switzerland. The total Swiss population change in 2008 (from all sources, including moves across municipal borders) was an increase of 135 and the non-Swiss population increased by 3181 people. This represents a population growth rate of 1.8%.[30]

The age distribution of the population (as of 2000) is children and teenagers (0–19 years old) make up 18.2% of the population, while adults (20–64 years old) make up 65.8% and seniors (over 64 years old) make up 16%.[31]

As of 2000, there were 78,666 people who were single and never married in the municipality. There were 74,205 married individuals, 10,006 widows or widowers and 15,087 individuals who are divorced.[29]

As of 2000 the average number of residents per living room was 0.64 which is about equal to the cantonal average of 0.64 per room.[31] In this case, a room is defined as space of a housing unit of at least 4 m2 (43 sq ft) as normal bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and habitable cellars and attics.[33] About 5.9% of the total households were owner occupied, or in other words did not pay rent (though they may have a mortgage or a rent-to-own agreement).[34]

As of 2000, there were 86,231 private households in the municipality, and an average of 1.9 persons per household.[31] There were 44,373 households that consist of only one person and 2,549 households with five or more people. Out of a total of 89,269 households that answered this question, 49.7% were households made up of just one person and there were 471 adults who lived with their parents. Of the rest of the households, there are 17,429 married couples without children, 16,607 married couples with children There were 5,499 single parents with a child or children. There were 1,852 households that were made up of unrelated people and 3,038 households that were made up of some sort of institution or another collective housing.[29]

Apartment buildings in the Quartier des Grottes

In 2000 there were 743 single family homes (or 10.6% of the total) out of a total of 6,990 inhabited buildings. There were 2,758 multi-family buildings (39.5%), along with 2,886 multi-purpose buildings that were mostly used for housing (41.3%) and 603 other use buildings (commercial or industrial) that also had some housing (8.6%). Of the single family homes 197 were built before 1919, while 20 were built between 1990 and 2000. The greatest number of single family homes (277) were built between 1919 and 1945.[35]

In 2000 there were 101,794 apartments in the municipality. The most common apartment size was 3 rooms of which there were 27,084. There were 21,889 single room apartments and 11,166 apartments with five or more rooms. Of these apartments, a total of 85,330 apartments (83.8% of the total) were permanently occupied, while 13,644 apartments (13.4%) were seasonally occupied and 2,820 apartments (2.8%) were empty.[35] As of 2009, the construction rate of new housing units was 1.3 new units per 1000 residents.[31]

As of 2003 the average price to rent an average apartment in Geneva was 1163.30 Swiss francs (CHF) per month (US$930, £520, €740 approx. exchange rate from 2003). The average rate for a one room apartment was 641.60 CHF (US$510, £290, €410), a two room apartment was about 874.46 CHF (US$700, £390, €560), a three room apartment was about 1126.37 CHF (US$900, £510, €720) and a six or more room apartment cost an average of 2691.07 CHF (US$2150, £1210, €1720). The average apartment price in Geneva was 104.2% of the national average of 1116 CHF.[36] The vacancy rate for the municipality, in 2010, was 0.25%.[31]

As of June 2011, the average price to buy an apartment in and around Geneva was 13,681 Swiss francs (CHF) per square metre (11 square feet). The average can be as high as 17,589 Swiss francs (CHF) per square metre (11 square feet) for a luxury apartment and as low as 9,847 Swiss francs (CHF) for an older or basic apartment. For houses in and around Geneva, the average price to buy one was 11.595 Swiss francs (CHF) per square metre (11 square feet) (as of June 2011), with a lowest price per square metre (11 square feet) of 4,874 Swiss francs (CHF), and a maximum price of 21,966 Swiss francs (CHF).[37]

Historic population

The historical population is given in the following chart:[38]

Religion

While Geneva was historically considered a Protestant city, there were over twice as many Roman Catholics living in the city in 2000. From the 2000 census, 66,491 or 37.4% were Roman Catholic, while 24,105 or 13.5% belonged to the Swiss Reformed Church. Of the rest of the population, there were 3,959 members of an Orthodox church (or about 2.22% of the population), there were 220 individuals (or about 0.12% of the population) who belonged to the Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland, and there were 2,422 individuals (or about 1.36% of the population) who belonged to another Christian church. There were 2,601 individuals (or about 1.46% of the population) who were Jewish, and 8,698 (or about 4.89% of the population) who were Islamic. There were 707 individuals who were Buddhist, 474 individuals who were Hindu and 423 individuals who belonged to another church. 41,289 (or about 23.20% of the population) belonged to no church, are agnostic or atheist, and 26,575 individuals (or about 14.93% of the population) did not answer the question.[29]

Economy

Geneva's economy is mainly services oriented. The city has an important and old finance sector, which is specialised in private banking (managing assets of about 1 trillion USD) and financing of international trade. It is also an important centre of commodity trade.[citation needed]

Geneva hosts the international headquarters of companies like JT International (JTI),[citation needed] Mediterranean Shipping Company,[citation needed], Serono (Serono S.A. was bought by the German Merck KGaA—not to be mistaken with the American Merck & Co.—in 2006 and now operates under Merck Serono S.A. as one of the ten biggest bio-pharmaceutical companies in the World), SITA,[citation needed], Société Générale de Surveillance, STMicroelectronics,[citation needed] and Weatherford International.[39] Many other multinational companies like Caterpillar, DuPont, and Cargill have their international headquarters in the city; Take Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, INVISTA, Procter & Gamble and Oracle Corporation have their European headquarters in the city. Hewlett Packard has its Europe, Africa, and Middle East headquarters in Meyrin, near Geneva.[40][41] PrivatAir has its headquarters in Meyrin,[42] near Geneva.[43]

There is a long tradition of watchmaking (Baume et Mercier, Charriol, Chopard, Franck Muller, Patek Philippe, Gallet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Universal Genève, Raymond Weil, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, etc.). Two major international producers of flavours and fragrances, Firmenich and Givaudan, have their headquarters and main production facilities in Geneva.[citation needed]

Many people also work in the numerous offices of international organisations located in Geneva (about 24,000 in 2001).[citation needed]

The Geneva Motor Show is one of the most important international auto-shows. The show is held at Palexpo, a giant convention centre located next to the International Airport.[citation needed]

In 2009, Geneva was ranked as the fourth most expensive city in the world. Geneva moved up four places from eighth place in last year's survey. Geneva is ranked behind Tokyo, Osaka, and Moscow at first, second, and third respectively. Geneva also beat Hong Kong, which came in at fifth place.[10]

As of 2011, Geneva had an unemployment rate of 6.3%.[44] As of 2008, there were five people employed in the primary economic sector and about three businesses involved in this sector. 9,783 people were employed in the secondary sector and there were 1,200 businesses in this sector. 134,429 people were employed in the tertiary sector, with 12,489 businesses in this sector.[31] There were 91,880 residents of the municipality who were employed in some capacity, of which females made up 47.7% of the workforce.

In 2008 the total number of full-time equivalent jobs was 124,185. The number of jobs in the primary sector was four, all of which were in agriculture. The number of jobs in the secondary sector was 9,363 of which 4,863 or (51.9%) were in manufacturing and 4,451 (47.5%) were in construction. The number of jobs in the tertiary sector was 114,818. In the tertiary sector; 16,573 or 14.4% were in the sale or repair of motor vehicles, 3,474 or 3.0% were in the movement and storage of goods, 9,484 or 8.3% were in a hotel or restaurant, 4,544 or 4.0% were in the information industry, 20,982 or 18.3% were the insurance or financial industry, 12,177 or 10.6% were technical professionals or scientists, 10,007 or 8.7% were in education and 15,029 or 13.1% were in health care.[45]

In 2000, there were 95,190 workers who commuted into the municipality and 25,920 workers who commuted away. The municipality is a net importer of workers, with about 3.7 workers entering the municipality for every one leaving. About 13.8% of the workforce coming into Geneva are coming from outside Switzerland, while 0.4% of the locals commute out of Switzerland for work.[46] Of the working population, 38.2% used public transportation to get to work, and 30.6% used a private car.[31]

Infrastructure

Transport

A Geneva tram

The city is served by the Geneva Cointrin International Airport. It is connected by Geneva Airport railway station (French: Gare de Genève-Aéroport) with both the Swiss railway network SBB-CFF-FFS, and the French SNCF network, including direct connections to Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Montpellier by TGV. Geneva is also connected to the motorway systems of both Switzerland (A1 motorway) and France.

Public transport by bus, trolleybus or tram is provided by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG). In addition to an extensive coverage of the city centre, the network covers most of the municipalities of the Canton, with a few lines extending into France. Public transport by boat is provided by the Mouettes Genevoises, which link the two banks of the lake within the city, and by the Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman (CGN) which serves more distant destinations such as Nyon, Yvoire, Thonon, Évian, Lausanne and Montreux using both modern diesel vessels and vintage paddle steamers.

Geneva Sécheron Train station

Trains operated by SBB-CFF-FFS connect the airport to the main station of Cornavin in a mere six minutes, and carry on to towns such as Nyon, Lausanne, Fribourg, Montreux, Neuchâtel, Berne, Sion, Sierre, etc. Regional train services are being increasingly developed, towards Coppet and Bellegarde. At the city limits, two new stations have been created since 2002: Genève-Sécheron (close to the UN and the Botanical Gardens) and Lancy-Pont-Rouge.

In 2005, work started on the CEVA (Cornavin – Eaux-Vives – Annemasse) project, first planned in 1884, which will connect Cornavin with the Cantonal hospital, the Eaux-Vives station and Annemasse, in France. The link between the main station and the classification yard of La Praille already exists; from there, the line will go mostly underground to the Hospital and the Eaux-Vives, where it will link up to the existing line to France. Support for this project was obtained from all parties in the local parliament.

Taxis in Geneva can be difficult to find, and may need to be booked in advance especially in the early morning or at peak hours. In addition, taxis can refuse to take babies and children because of seating legislation.[47]

An ambitious project to close 200 streets in the centre of Geneva to cars has been approved in principle by the Geneva cantonal authorities, and is projected to be implemented over four years (2010–2014).[48]

Utilities

Water, natural gas and electricity are provided to the municipalities of the Canton of Geneva by the state-owned Services Industriels de Genève (shortly SIG). Most of the drinkable water (80%) is extracted from the lake; the remaining 20% is provided by groundwater originally formed by infiltration from the Arve River. 30% of the Canton's electricity needs is locally produced, mainly by three hydroelectric dams on the Rhone River (Seujet, Verbois and Chancy-Pougny). In addition, 13% of the electricity produced in the Canton is made from the heat induced by the burning of waste at the waste incineration facility of Les Cheneviers. The remaining needs (57%) are covered by imports from other cantons in Switzerland or other European countries; SIG buys only electricity produced by renewable methods, and in particular does not use electricity produced using nuclear reactors or fossil fuels. Natural gas is available in the City of Geneva, as well as in about two-thirds of the municipalities of the canton, and is imported from Western Europe by the Swiss company Gaznat. SIG also provides telecommunication facilities to carriers, service providers and large enterprises. From 2003 to 2005 "Voisin, voisine" a Fibre to the Home pilot project with a Triple play offering was launched to test the end-user market in the Charmilles district.

Education

Geneva is home to the university of Geneva, founded by John Calvin in 1559. Despite its medium size (about 13000 students), the university of Geneva is regularly ranked among the best world universities. In 2011, the ranking web of universities ranked it 35th European university.[49]

Located in the heart of International Geneva, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies was among the first academic institutions to teach international relations in the world and it proposes today MA and PhD programmes in Law, Political Science, History, Economics, International Affairs, and Development Studies.

Also, the oldest international school in the world is located in Geneva, the International School of Geneva, founded in 1924 along with the League of Nations. Webster university, an accredited American university, also has a campus in Geneva. Moreover, the city is home to the Institut International de Lancy (founded in 1903) and to the International university in Geneva, an accredited International university.

The Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations is a private university on the grounds of the Château de Penthes, an old manor with a park and view of Lake Geneva.

The Canton of Geneva's public school system has écoles primaires (ages 4–12) and cycles d'orientation (ages 12–15). The obligation to attend school ends at age 16, but secondary education is provided by collèges (ages 15–19), the oldest of which is the Collège Calvin, which could be considered one of the oldest public schools in the world.[50]

Geneva also has a choice of private schools.[51] However, out of all the educational and research facilities in Geneva, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is probably the best known on a world basis. Founded in 1954, CERN was one of Europe's first joint ventures and has developed as the world's largest particle physics laboratory. Physicists from around the world travel to CERN to research matter and explore the fundamental forces and materials that form the universe.

In Geneva about 44,176 or (24.8%) of the population have completed non-mandatory upper secondary education, and 40,733 or (22.9%) have completed additional higher education (either university or a Fachhochschule). Of the 40,733 who completed tertiary schooling, 31.3% were Swiss men, 31.1% were Swiss women, 20.5% were non-Swiss men and 17.2% were non-Swiss women.[29]

During the 2009-2010 school year, there were a total of 28,930 students in the Geneva school system. The education system in the Canton of Geneva allows young children to attend two years of non-obligatory Kindergarten.[52] During that school year, there were 2,805 children who were in a pre-kindergarten class. The canton's school system provides two years of non-mandatory kindergarten and requires students to attend six years of primary school, with some of the children attending smaller, specialized classes. In Geneva there were 4,109 students in kindergarten or primary school and 607 students were in the special, smaller classes. The secondary school program consists of three lower, obligatory years of schooling, followed by three to five years of optional, advanced schools. There were 4,109 lower secondary students who attended school in Geneva. There were 6,188 upper secondary students from the municipality along with 1,461 students who were in a professional, non-university track program. An additional 2,987 students attended a private school.[53]

As of 2000, there were 12,038 students in Geneva who came from another municipality, while 4,219 residents attended schools outside the municipality.[46]

Geneva is home to 5 major libraries. These libraries include; the Bibliothèques municipales Genève, the Haute école de travail social, Institut d'études sociales, the Haute école de santé, the Ecole d'ingénieurs de Genève and the Haute école d'art et de design. There was a combined total (as of 2008) of 877,680 books or other media in the libraries, and in the same year a total of 1,798,980 items were loaned out.[54]

International organizations

Geneva is the seat of the European headquarters of the United Nations. It is located in the Palace of Nations building (French: Palais des Nations) which was also the headquarters of the former League of Nations. Several agencies are headquartered at Geneva, among which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Apart from the United Nation agencies, Geneva hosts many inter-governmental organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Organizations on the European level, include the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) which is the world's largest particle physics laboratory.

The Geneva Environment Network (GEN) publishes the Geneva Green Guide,[55] and extensive listing of Geneva-based global organisations working on environment protection and sustainable development. A website[56] (by the Swiss Government, WBCSD, UNEP and IUCN) includes stories about how NGOs, business, government and the UN cooperate. By doing so, it attempts to explain why Geneva has been picked by so many NGOs and UN as their headquarters location.

Geneva in popular culture

Notable people

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf (German), Ginevra (Italian) and Genevra (Romansh)

References

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed (1913). "Lausanne and Geneva". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 

  1. ^ a b Canton of Geneva Statistics, MS Excel document – Mouvement démographique de la population résidante du canton de Genève, par commune, au 1er trimestre 2011 (French) accessed 18 April 2011
  2. ^ Office fédéral du développement territorial ARE – Genève. Are.admin.ch. Retrieved on 2011-03-19.
  3. ^ a b c (French) "Etude thématique A1: l'évolution des villes et des agglomérations suisses". Office fédéral du développement territorial ARE. 19 December 2006. http://www.are.admin.ch/themen/agglomeration/00641/03333/index.html?lang=fr. 
  4. ^ Paul Hofmann (1990-06-24). "Staying on the Safe Side; Geneva". The New York Times Company. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEEDE133EF937A15755C0A966958260&scp=7&sq=Canton+of+Geneva&st=nyt. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  5. ^ Finn-Olaf Jones (2007-09-16). "36 Hours in Geneva". The New York Times. http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/travel/16hours.html?scp=1&sq=Geneva+Switzerland&st=nyt. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
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  • GENEVA — GENEVA, capital of Geneva canton, Switzerland. Jews apparently first settled there after their expulsion from France   by philip in 1182, receiving protection from the local bishop. The first mention of a Jew in an official document dates from… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Geneva — Ge*ne va, prop. n. The chief city of Switzerland. [1913 Webster] {Geneva Bible}, a translation of the Bible into English, made and published by English refugees in Geneva (Geneva, 1560; London, 1576). It was the first English Bible printed in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • GENEVA — urbs Allobrogum extrema, mirae antiquitatis: Cuius, ut et pontis super Rhodanum siti, ac a se rescissi, meminit Caesar, l. 1. de Bell. Gallic. c. 2. ampla, populosa et probe munita, ad ostia Lemani lacus, ubi Rhodanus exit, proxima Helvetiorum… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

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  • Geneva, GA — U.S. town in Georgia Population (2000): 114 Housing Units (2000): 59 Land area (2000): 0.786850 sq. miles (2.037933 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000075 sq. miles (0.000195 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.786925 sq. miles (2.038128 sq. km) FIPS code …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Geneva, IA — U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 171 Housing Units (2000): 77 Land area (2000): 0.427125 sq. miles (1.106248 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.427125 sq. miles (1.106248 sq. km) FIPS code:… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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